Why It Sucks Being a Local Musician-Top 5 Reasons

It is so much fun being a local rock star. Playing music is a passion for most musicians. However, on occasion, it is not so cool to be a local musician. It downright SUCKS sometimes. Why? Well- here are the top 5 reasons.


1. “My uncle is in a band, you should hang out”

Whenever the topic comes up that you are in a band, someone will eventually tell you about their uncle who plays in a band. This uncle plays in his garage doing 1960’s top 40 songs with a buddy who happens to own a drum set and a bass player who has never actually played bass before. You will be forced to sit there and listen to how he is really good at playing ‘Mustang Sally’. The issue with this scenario is not that you look down on this uncle but it is a symptom of other struggles the local musician has to endure. Everyone thinks that what the local musician does is easy- Their uncle does it. In fact, what their uncle does it is completely different. It is like telling a master painter that your uncle paints too- he just uses these coloring books and Bob Ross videos. The ‘uncle musician’ also has the negative repercussions of other people thinking you suck immediately. When you tell someone you are a musician, they immediately assume you suck music. Music is your job and they immediately think you suck at your job (their uncle sucks, so you must suck too). This does not happen with any other profession. If you tell someone you are an accountant, they don’t assume you suck right off the bat. They also don’t go on to tell you about their uncle who adds numbers in his spare time.

2. You are now also a furniture mover

All that gear needed to put on a show needs to be moved by you and your bandmates. Things like lights, PA gear, speakers, amps, guitars, cables, mics, stands, and drums… these things are NOT light. >They are freaking heavy. You will have to carry them from your practice space to a van and then from the van to the stage then from the stage to the van and then from the van back into the practice space. On top of all that- Your practice space will never be at ground level. It will be up or down a flight of stairs. The door going outside will be too small and the stairs will be something stupid like a spiral staircase. The narrow stairs will make it virtually impossible to carry your amps without feeling like you are on the verged of falling to your death. Your back will thank you for your choice of profession. Don’t forget the part where you hold a 20 pound instrument around your neck for a few hours. Yeah, that is good for your back

3. Drunk people after the show

In most venues, the artist is no longer allowed to drink on stage. It is actually against the law. What this means is, after playing to drunk people until 1 AM, you are stone cold sober but you have a bar full of people who are wasted. All normal people will have left the bar well before midnight, leaving just the heavy drinkers. These drunk people are the ones you have to chat with while you try to pack up your gear. It is not all a bad, they will tell you how great you were, how they want to go to all your upcoming shows and about how you are their reason for living. They also have the bad habit of asking you if it is ok for them to play your guitar. Oh sure, this extremely drunk person that can barely hold a beer, it would be my pleasure to let them hold my thousand dollar guitar and let them puke on in. not to mention the few thousand dollar amp with a few thousand in effect pedals. Can I go take a dump in your car? I bet it is worth about the same as my guitar and gear.

4. It Destroys relationships

When you are on a stage, of course girls are gonna look at you. Hell- guys and bartenders and police officers and guys named AL or guys who call you Eddie or Bodyguards or Kevin Conster…whoever, whatever- They all Will always LOVE YOU HOOOO OHH I>>>>>>> sorry…. These people will all get drunk and they want you. They dance to you and they want to now sleep with you. Your girlfriend will hate having to pay 5 bucks to see girls drool over you. YOU are oblivious to this, YOU are too busy trying to remember if you needed to play a Sus4 or a maj7 chord (Note to self, send Facebook IM to Scott and ask if it is proper to play Dsus4 while the in the D dorian scale being played over C Major or if the F# gets in the way). Plus, your girlfriend is not going to want to go to all your shows. Eventually, you will have a Saturday night that you have a gig and it is her birthday. She will either understand that you have to work or you will be looking for a new groupie for a girlfriend because the music always wins. Band practice, gigs, and radio appearances take priority. Significant others please take note- Musicians put music first…. Always.

5. Money- IT'S A DRAG

When you are in a local band, money is always an issue. Lots of venues pay you what you deserve but others are touch holes about money (touch hole- the most creative road rage slang my dad ever used when I was a kid in the backseat). Musicians are constantly asked "will you play my house party for free because of the exposure". Will a plumber fix your toilet for free? What if I tell everyone who pisses in the bowl who was responsible for the handy work, think of the publicity they would get? Some people say "you should be happy you get to play at all". yeah, this is the exact reason the guy at Burger king works for free too, he is happy just to work at all. Sure, crap bands would be happy to play for free and crap plumbers would too. But if your plumber is covered in crap, you probably don’t want him in your house. Also goes for bands. You don’t want crap covered bands unless you are a GG Allin fan.

Are you a musician?? Why do you think being a musician sucks sometimes? Comment your reasons below! Let’s see who agrees with you!

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